||Jacksonville, Ill. - Illinois College announces the expansion of its athletic program to include competitive video gaming, commonly known as esports, joining a growing number of college and university programs across the country.
“Illinois College is building an international reputation for inspiring achievement and empowering students to make a difference in the world and our esports program is one more way we’re preparing students to Graduate READY for success in the 21st-century,” said Stephanie Elpers Chipman, vice president for enrollment and marketing. “Gaming teaches strategic thinking, work ethic, teamwork, perseverance, and creativity, all of which correspond well with IC’s mission to provide a strong liberal arts education.”
Competitive gaming is quickly becoming one of the fastest growing recreations in the world. Esports has grown from a fan base of 89 million in 2014 to over 150 million in 2017, a number roughly equal to the fan base of the National Football League, and is projected to exceed $1 billion in annual revenue by 2019. Over 90% of high school students regularly play video games.
The College’s new League of Legends team will consist of two co-ed teams, a Blue and a White, much like a varsity and junior varsity team. Each will have six members, five starters, plus an alternate, and will be lead by new IC esports head coach, Christian Matlock. Illinois College will participate in the Collegiate Starleague (CSL) and the National Association of Collegiate eSports (NACE). Scholarships are available.
“Coach Matlock brings exciting experience working in esports at the collegiate and professional level,” said Athletic Director Mike Snyder. “He’s a great addition to IC’s coaching staff.”
The new esports facilities will be located in the heart of campus within the Caine Student Center and include ten computer gaming stations and a console gaming station.
Illinois College is currently recruiting students for the 2017-2018 esports teams. Students interested in joining this program can fill out the League of Legends Interest Form. For more information, please contact Christian Matlock, head coach of esports at email@example.com or at 217.245.3617